Best mandolin for the price, beats out higher priced items
It has been a great investment and has paid for itself, many many times over. I use it more often than any other gadget in my kitchen. Clean up is simple, just rinse and store in back in it's holder, it drips dry with no rusting and the blades are still super sharp after being used pretty much daily since November of 1999.
I use it to dice onions and peppers in seconds when I make chili, sloppy joes or tacos. I use it whenever I make hashbrowns, potato chowder, potatoes au gratin or even french fries as I can safely and swiftly slice potatoes into cubes, thick or thin strips, chips, scalloped slices or fries. It can julienne tender-crisp delicate slices of veggies for stir-fry or a salad or side dish. You can make quick easy carrot and celery sticks for snacking, cucumber slices for salads, tomato slices for burgers -- you name it this does it.
I love my borner v-slicer and recommend it to everyone. I still buy this for every wedding gift and housewarming party that I've attended since 1999! Yes, there are less expensive mandolins and more expensive ones, but for the ease of use, super quick clean up, handy storage/safety holder and just overall sturdiness and reliability of this little tool I rate it 5 stars all around. I know I sound a bit over the top raving about it, buy I could not recommend it more enthusiastically.
Wait--I can! This thing rocks! Buy it, try it, you will adore it!
It has drastically reduced my preparation time on many dishes and it has become as essential to my kitchen as my chef's knife and fry pan. But again, this is a high quality product with German-made blades that stay sharp longer than you will. It's super sharp and slicey. If you like your finger tips and don't like blood and gore--then use the safety guide and a little care and you'll be a-ok.
When dealing with any cutting tool, just as you would with a chainsaw or with a knife--use care, common sense and precaution. Always use the little safety food guide that comes with it, and make sure that you are holding the guide properly so that the arrows point the right way and the guide slides smoothly! It's very safe to use if you use your head, but yes, the blades are really very sharp. However, with sensible care the Borner V-slicer is safer than a knife and very easy to use.
The V-slicer has a safety catch at the base. To get it out of it's case you simply release the catch and gently remove the slicer. If you reach inside or try to yank or force it out without releasing the safety catch first--you'll injure yourself. The unfortunate woman whose hand was badly sliced while removing the slicer from its case probably didn't take the time to release the catch before she tried to remove it from it's safety case. Having had a tendon reattachment of my own after a box-cutter hit a metal staple and sliced into my hand, I do really feel for her, but it's not the Borner V-Slicer's fault she injured herself--Please use care!
It's a very sharp edged tool, and the bladed edges for julienne and cubed foods are dangerous too. Read the instructions, use the safety guide, store it in its safety case and avoid touching the blade edges. With a little normal caution you'll soon be confidently slicing veggies in seconds like a pro.
REVIEW UPDATED NOVEMBER 28, 2011 - I am updating this review to reflect my 12 years of product use. I wrote the original review in November of 2002, after owning the V-slicer for only a few years. I've had it 12 years now and I still use this thing (the same unit) practically every day. Crazy.
It's a great tool, and very safe when used correctly. In all the years I've used the V-slicer I've cut myself maybe six times - and each time it was because I wasn't using the safety guide from laziness or I had oriented the guide the wrong way.
Despite using it more or less daily since November 1999, the only issue we have had with it is that one of the small plastic hooks on the front of the storage unit broke off and now the safety guide (or "hat" as my husband calls it) cannot stay neatly attached to the unit when stored. No biggie. There's some minor cosmetic stuff too - it's gotten a bit stained from tomato sauce at some stage, and there's also a slight ding in the blades right in the center "V" where the two blades meet - not sure how that got there, but it has no effect on the slicey-diceyness of the thing. 12 years and it still works great and is ridiculously sharp.
REVIEW UPDATED NOVEMBER 29, 2011 - Murphy's law. I updated the review for this and the very next day -- the safety catch on the bottom broke off. It can't be stored safely on the countertop now, so I'm ordering a new one.
12 years. The product lasted me 12 years. Pretty dang good for a mandolin that cost me about $25 bucks back then. I firmly stand by it, and I endorse it as a great, economical and labor-saving tool.
Hasn't left the counter in ten years
I purchased the V-Slicer over ten years ago and it has been a faithful companion in the kitchen. The speed with which it slices/dices onions makes it more than worth the price. You can make french fries or julienne fries, onion rings, scalloped potatoes, carrot or celery sticks...the list is endless! Cleanup is no more than a rinse under water. The safety holder ensures that you won't be suffering any mishaps. But for safety's sake, keep this appliance away from the kids. The blades are VERY SHARP and can deliver a nasty cut if you don't handle them carefully. For that reason, I never wash them in the sink where suds can hide them and risk injury. But these warnings aside, this is a wonderful and versatile tool. It is as useful as a mandoline at a fraction of the price. You will reach for it often and the V-Slicer will be one of your favorite and most used kitchen tools.
View from a former salesman
Here are some of the distinctions that you might not notice from a distance.
First off, it is a great slicer. The parts fit together securely and it feels like quality. It's made in Germany and has a stainless steel blade, which does eventually get dull. It can be sharpened, but it's a little awkward.
Just because you haven't cut yourself with a knife for years, doesn't mean that you're safe with this tool. The cutting action with this tool is distinctly different from using a knife. Take my advice and use the safety handle... even when you think you don't need it.
I remember cutting an orangeonce; my hands were wet... the blade hit a seed and my hand slipped. In a flash I had cut half way through the tip of my index finger. The good news is that it was a really clean cut and healed within a week, but I learned my lesson.
You have two different sizes of julianne cuts. One is nice for french fries, the other is more like shoestring potatoes. There are also two different thicknesses of slices.
If you want to make some quick diced tomatoes or salsa, just make a few cross-cuts on a tomato (after placing it into the safety handle) and then run it through the larger julianne blade.
I imagine that you will be happy with your purchase if you chose to get one. I gave everybody a satisfaction guarantee, and only had one come back, from someone who was just scared to use it.
To address some concerns...
First off let me state: This slicer completely rocks. You can make french fries or slice up an onion in only a few seconds. You can slice super thin, or thick. It is SO easy.
As an owner of this slicer I wanted to address some concerns people had with this in other reviews:
REGARDING HOW TO HOLD THE DEVICE WHILE SLICING:
Some people felt they couldn't safely hold the device. The proper way to hold it is to put down one end on a cutting board and hold the device at an angle to the cutting board. Then use your other hand to move back and forth over the blade. I think some people were trying to suspend the device in the air or something while cutting and were having problems with it. It shows a picture of how to do it in the instructions. Just look at the pic. It doesn't specifically mention a cutting board... but I suggest you use one so you can easily add your cuttings to a recipie or pan or whatever.
REGARDING TOO MUCH WASTE AFTER CUTTING SOMETHING:
If you are cutting a potato for example, there is a handle included with small pins on it that you insert into the potato. This is the handle you hold on when you move it back and forth over the blade. The "official" and probably the safest way to do the cutting is to hold the handle perpendicular so the ends of the handle are over the sides of the cutting area. If you do this you will find that the end of your potato remains uncut. Its not a big piece... but I find that if you turn the handle so it is parellel with the device for the final few cuts you can slice the final nub. Not techincally the safest option, but it works.
WORDS OF WARNING:
1) These blades are really really really sharp. Cut through any vegetable like butter, also cut through you like butter if you leave this lay around somewhere carelessly
2) You can buy inserts for this seperately here on onlineshopdealer BUT the sane ones come with it. We got this as a wedding gift and we got the inserts seperately. No i have 2 julienne inserts. One is still in plastic.
3) You can buy this same package for 10 dollars more here on onlineshopdealer. Why? I don't know but get this one because why waste 10 dollars.
Best hand slicer!
I used this slicer for sandwich prep in my restaurant for 14 years.
Averaged 200 lbs tomatoes & 50 lbs onions per week. After about
a year it would lose a little edge but I took it home for personal
use or gave them out to customers. Superior over restaurant types
(never used my Tomato King... again). Its cheap and easy to
clean & sanitize. Beware of cheaper plastic types.
The V blade is the best...
Add me to the LOVE IT list
I've had mine for 20 years. I saw one in a professional chef's kitchen then bought mine from an infomercial. I use it all the time.
It's very safe to use, if you use it properly, with the food holder always. That last little bit of veggie can be easily chopped with a couple of slices from a knife - don't be tempted to try to push it through with your fingers. I always pop the last little bit of tomato or carrot in my mouth - yum.
It seems some folks haven't figured out how to dice with it. I make Indian food and the curry sauce takes lots and lots of onions. I can dice an onion in under 30 seconds with this (safely and not hurrying). Put the onion in the holder. Slide it across just the julienne blade with it lying flat on the counter - this is a prep slice, then put the blade in the slicer. Turn the onion 45 degrees and slice it - it will come out diced, then turn it a 1/4 turn and slice, turn and slice, turn and slice - the whole onion comes out diced beautifully.
The same can be done with potatoes and tomatos. I seriously can dice up 6 onions in 4 minutes (after I peel the top layer and chop the ends off). There isn't any time for tears to even start.
I just figured out something! If I only cut the top and not the end off the onion, that would be the part that was left over in the holder. It is a part I throw away anyway! Can't wait to try the new technique.
The holder looks like it is designed to only go down to the blade one way - with the wide part running down the rails but it doesn't catch even if you have the narrow sides parallel with the rails. So just switch back and forth for dices. No need to make knife cuts in the veggies.
That tiny sliver of veggie that doesn't go through the slicer can be chopped up in seconds by hand or if you don't mind wasting it - throw it away or compost it - it's only worth about a penny! Certainly not worth a trip to the emergency room because you tried to force it through with your fingers.
Don't get complicated with the washing either. Just run it under warm water and use a soapy brush if you want. I admit that I usually just rinse it and drop it in the holder - it still looks and works great after 20 years.
Mandoline outlasted girlfriend
I bought this model mandoline 8 years ago at the county fair, urged on by my [then] significant other. She had owned one for years and assured me my life would be far better if I bought one, which I did. Well, she is history now, but the Borner V-Slicer Plus still reigns in my kinchen. It slices very well, has exceptlionally sharp blades and is easy to use and to clean. A real buy at twice the price. I'll have to admit she was right about this.
A Great Value and Safest to Use
I have extensively used both a Bron Mandoline and a Borner V-slicer at work. I bought a V-slicer to use at home.
I love the design of the Borner guard. It has long metal spears with a plunger to advance the food as you slice that give a very secure grip and almost no waste. Most of the cheaper slicers have short plastic points that really can not get a good grip on the food. The carriage style guard on the Bron is clumsy and not as flexible as the Borner. If the guard on a slicer is difficult to use people will tend to try to use it without. Unfortuately if you do that sooner or later you too will have a grisly story to tell.
I also like the design of the holder that comes with to safely store the slicer and the two julienne blades. A slight drawback to the Borner is not being able to adjust the thickness of the slices beyond the two choices they give you. Also the V-slicer does not do crinkle or waffle cuts but Borner does make a separate crinkle/waffle cutter and also a smaller julienne slicer that work with the guard that comes with the V-slicer.
good product or good riddance?????
Ok, some people give this thing 5 stars and some give it one star. So what is the scoop??? Here it is. I think this thing is awesome. I am buying a second one just in case something happens to the first one. HOWEVER my wife cannot stand it. She thinks using it is comparable to rocket science (yes, she has sliced herself up with it). I don't get it, however the fact remains that some people have what it takes to slice vegetables with this thing and some dont!!! Here is how it works. Step one: Impale vegetables on spikes. Step two: Move hand back and forth. Step three: Toss in sink.
Additional info added: I have taught her how to properly use this and she loves it as well.
EXCELLENT product - worth it's cost - easily
How did I ever do it?
How was I able to function as a cook without the slicer. I have come to LOVE this product and use it more than I ever dreamed possible. From slicing and shredding potatoes, peppers, onions - to making my new favorite Sweet Onion Dressing with the ultra fine shred blade, to apple salads, cole slaws, it has never failed me yet!
A great addition to the kitchen.
AND - I have not sliced any finger YET!!!!!